Kevin Leman II is the head writer and executive producer of The Ellen DeGeneres Show who has recently been accused of sexual misconduct.
Buzzfeed News reported July 30 that three of the daytime talk show’s executive producers, including Leman, have been accused by former employees. The other two include Ed Glavin and Co-Executive Producer Jonathan Norman.
One victim told the outlet that Leman asked for oral sex while others claimed they witnessed him grope staffers and make sexually explicit comments, Buzzfeed said.
DeGeneres made a public apology hours before the story published after several former and one current employee criticized the show’s team of racism and toxic behavior, Buzzfeed added.
In a statement obtained by the outlet, WarnerMedia promised it would deliver on “several staffing changes, along with appropriate measures to address the issues that have been raised.”
Here’s what you need to know about Kevin Leman:
1. Leman Hails From Tucson, Arizona
According to IMDb, Leman was born on February 8, 1978 in Tucson, Arizona.
He graduated from Ringling School of Art & Design and currently lives in Studio City, California with his husband, Chris Leman.
All of his social media accounts are currently private.
2. Leman Has Earned 19 Daytime Emmy Awards & a People’s Choice Award
Leman has worked for the Ellen show since its inception in 2003, IMDb states.
The website lists several of his recent recognitions as a Daytime Emmy 2020 Nominee for Outstanding Writing for a Special Class Series Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003); a Daytime Emmy 2019 Winner for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show
Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003); and a Daytime Emmy 2019 Nominee
for Outstanding Special Class Short Format Daytime
Momsplaining with Kristen Bell (2018).
3. Leman Also Works as the Creator & Executive Producer of Little Ellen
On top of working for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Leman is the creator and executive producer of HBO Max’s new animated series Little Ellen, as well as NBC’s Ellen’s Game of Games, according to IMDb.
He also created The Masked Dancer parody, the website continues. The piece went on to become a 2020 primetime spin-off for FOX.
Leman’s prior experience includes working as an executive producer of ABC’s reality show Repeat After Me, IMDb, says.
4. Leman is the Son of an Internationally-Known Psychologist
Author Kevin Leman, an internationally-known psychologist and New York Times bestselling author, is listed as the father of the Ellen producer on IMDb’s Trivia Section.
According to Focus on the Family, Leman is a public speaker and media personality who has made varying guest appearances on radio and TV programs.
He has written more than 50 books, including The Birth Order Book, Have a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, the website continues.
5. Leman is Denying the Sexual Assault Allegations
Kevin Leman (on the far right) one of the producers & head writer of the Ellen Show is accused of sexually assaulting & harassing male subordinates, young assistants/interns for years as ppl looked the other way to keep their jobs. Ppl abusing power, need to be held accountable. pic.twitter.com/1QAUwOVniy
— Jenny Li (@jennyjenli) August 1, 2020
The Buzzfeed report claimed than an ex-employee accused Leman of asking him for a hand job or oral sex at a company party in 2013.
Another said she saw the head writer “grope a production assistant in a car and kiss his neck” in May 2017.
A handful of former employees expressed that Leman often made sexually explicit comments, including “pointing out male colleagues’ bulges in their crotches, or ask them questions like, ‘Are you a top or a bottom?'” the outlet continued.
Leman denied the allegations in a statement obtained by Buzzfeed, saying:
I started at the Ellen Show as a PA more than 17 years ago and have devoted my career to work my way to the position I now hold. While my job as head writer is to come up with jokes — and, during that process, we can occasionally push the envelope — I’m horrified that some of my attempts at humor may have caused offense,” he said. “I have always aimed to treat everyone on the staff with kindness, inclusivity and respect. In my whole time on the show, to my knowledge, I’ve never had a single HR or inter-personal complaint made about me, and I am devastated beyond belief that this kind of malicious and misleading article could be published.